Isaiah 43 has been a special verse for me for many years. When I was pregnant with our second child I had a great deal of fear about labor and delivery. My first labor was long and her delivery had complications. God impressed the first two verses of Isaiah 43 on my heart and this brought me peace while I was still pregnant with our second. During labor I had a very painful contraction and I began to sing the verse out loud.
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. (Isaiah 43:1-2 NIV)
Do not fear. Little did I know at the moment of that hard contraction that it would only get harder and I would need His peace. When my son was born I was able to hold him for only a brief moment. He was struggling to breathe and needed more support. He was rushed to the NICU and I felt my heart almost fail. My husband followed him and I was left without my new baby and my husband but not alone. God was with me and I needed the confidence in knowing this. In the moments after the birth I began to have complications which were a threat to my own life. God’s words in Isaiah 43 continued to wash over me and I knew that we would be OK. God would protect us both. This peace that God gave me during this time I have not forgotten. His hand was clearly with me and my son.
As I began to research adoption a few months back I soon became fearful of all the unknowns. The brokenness and the wounds that will be part of our child’s story. The waiting and the expectations during this process. The seemly impossible costs to bring our child home. It was so overwhelming and scary. It felt like too much. One morning during this time I was going about my normal routine with the kids. Getting little ones changed and dressed, making breakfast, washing dishes and the song about Isaiah 43 came to me again and I began to sing it as I worked. Peace washed over me and then a very clear but small voice said, “Go, look at the next part of the verse. See what I have to say”. With some disbelief I did. This is what I read:
For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for
you, nations in exchange for your life. Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.
I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth— everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made. (Isaiah 43:3-7 NIV)
God has been singing this over me for many years and he is now revealing the next part of his great plan. He is with me and I need not fear. He is also with our child and he or she is precious and honored in His sight and he loves them so much that He has paid a great price and nothing will hold Him back. Nothing. This journey is about Him, not me. I am not worthy of this call. I am incapable of any of this without Jesus. He is my strength and my peace.
Lord, you call each of us by name. You have come to save and redeem.
I surrender it ALL to you.
[Photo Credit: Lisa Williams]